Risk factor analysis and the youth question
This paper is concerned with exploring how in late modernity the ?youth question? is being addressed by public policy and what impact this is having on understandings of childhood and youth. Historically the youth question has been shaped by adult anxieties over youth delinquency and their problems of social integration. In late modernity, this is still the case but new approaches to tackling social problems are emerging. Public policy influenced by the emerging ?science of prevention? has developed new forms of interventions, which are seen in the expansion of risk factor analysis in prevention policy. This paper explores the development of this new approach to the youth question, highlighting its history, its influence and its underlying assumptions. The concluding discussion will show how this area of public policy development is leading to greater levels of regulation and intervention and is widening the net in terms of defining young people as the future problem generation.